EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The morning rush hour was brought to a standstill in New Jersey after a violent crash on Route 3 injured two people.

CBS2’s Meg Baker reported an elderly woman somehow ended up going the wrong way in the westbound lanes on the Hackensack River Bridge in Secaucus, and then head-on into another car.

It happened just past Meadowlands Parkway shortly after 7:15 a.m. Wednesday.


“I was on the bridge, I was in my delivery van and I noticed this greenish-blue car coming the wrong way on the road,” one driver said.

Kaye Runquist, an 84-year-old woman from Cherry Hill, was behind the wheel of a Dodge Neon, traveling east in the westbound lanes when she crashed head-on into a BMW driven by 59-year-old Gregory Mottola, police said.

Motolla’s neighbor from Secaucus was driving a few cars ahead when the accident happened.

“I slowed down to about 2 miles per hour and I started honking my horn and waving. I couldn’t get her attention. She just kept driving as if … she had a blank stare on her face,” the neighbor said.

Secaucus Police Chief Kevin Flaherty said they are investigating why the woman was in the area, which is two hours from where she lives.

“We called the husband and he didn’t seem to have a clue why she was in the area,” Flaherty told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck.

Runquist’s son said his mom may be suffering from Alzheimer’s and his father also has no idea what time she left the house.

“This morning, down in South Jersey, I was going to take her to a pulmonologist. Well, I went to pick her up in Cherry Hill and she wasn’t there,” Rob Runquist said, calling it “really bizarre” and an “unbelievable situation.”

Kaye Runquist is undergoing extensive surgery at Hackensack Medical Center in critical condition. Motolla was listed in stable condition and should be released from the hospital Wednesday evening.

The road was closed intermittently as emergency crews worked the scene and delays stretched back onto Route 495. All lanes were reopened around 10:40 a.m.

Comments (2)
  1. Don’t give tragedy the opportunity to strike your family; there is help available.

    Keeping Us Safe is a national organization that provides practical, real-life solutions to older drivers and their families. Our programs are designed to help older drivers with diminished driving skills make a smooth transition from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat without deterioration to their dignity, personal pride or independence.

    Our programs provide families with the missing link between their desire to bring this issue to a peaceful resolution, and their ability to actually do so.

    “Beyond Driving with Dignity; The workbook for older drivers and their families” serves as the foundation for the “Beyond Driving with Dignity” program. It is a ‘working’ workbook, designed to remove the family’s opinion, emotion and speculation from the challenging process of deciding whether or not a loved-one should continue or if, in the interest of safety, they need to retire from driving.

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    1) A Safe Drive Through the Aging Process (meant for older drivers themselves), and
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    Each of these 1-hour presentations are typically offered at no charge.

    Keeping Us Safe’s “self-assessment program” for older drivers has become a respected resource for physicians, hospital systems, and court systems looking for help for older drivers and their concerned families. Certified “Beyond Driving with Dignity” Professionals can be found throughout the United States.

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  2. This is why we need driver retesting after a certain age, but AARP won’t allow it. Where are the protests?

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